Here’s a nightmare scenario: you run a successful restaurant, with a full dining room every night and plenty of repeat customers. You’re doing pretty well and enjoy rave reviews on Yelp. Then, one night, as you’re cleaning up the kitchen, you spot a cockroach running across a food preparation area. If you know anything about cockroaches, then you realize the one you saw is indicative of dozens or even hundreds more you don’t see. You have a roach problem on your hands.
Unfortunately, this is all too common a scenario. Every day, businesses are getting shut down because of pest infestations. Restaurants are the most common culprit, but virtually any business can experience this disastrous scenario. Heck, even fictional restaurants in Disney movies aren’t immune from being closed down. So how do you save yourself from the heartache of having your doors closed? Here are five tips to keep the health inspector at bay:
1. Keep it clean
The most obvious (and effective) manner of pest control is to keep things immaculate. Every surface that comes into contact with food or food particles should be wiped down at the end of the night. Also, trash should be taken out every day, carpets need to be vacuumed and floors mopped.
2. Restrict food to the kitchen/breakroom
Limiting where food is consumed in your business allows you ensure those areas are always cleaned thoroughly. If employees take food into private offices or other areas, it’s much easier to miss those food particles while cleaning up.
3. Be on the lookout for early warning signs
A minor pest problem is much easier to deal with than a full-blown infestation. Look for the warning signs of pests, even if you have yet to spot a single ant or cockroach. Droppings are a good early indicator of a budding pest problem – rodents can leave up to 50-75 rectangular pellets every day, and cockroach feces resembles black pepper or coffee grounds.
4. Deal with any pest problem immediately
You don’t have to wait for the health inspector to shut you down (nor should you). At the first sign of any pest, call a qualified professional pest control company. They can get the situation under control quickly, before the health inspector has a chance to close your doors.
5. Invest in commercial pest control services
If you want to be proactive about pest problems, consider commercial pest control services. A pest control company can perform monthly inspections of your business to find warning signs you haven’t been trained to spot. Additionally, they can set-up traps or spray preemptively to keep pests at bay. It will cost you a little money, but the peace of mind you gain in return is invaluable; and it’s still a bargain when you consider how damaging a shutdown would be to your business.